Often, your level of passion for the cause will determine how much money your group fundraises. Let your passion for the cause and your group inspire potential donors to invest in you and your group.
Advanced Fundraising is for groups who have been successfully fundraising and want to challenge themselves to reach new levels of success with their group!
Before you start fundraising make sure you follow these steps:
STEP ONE: Develop Your Fundraising Team
Designate one group officer such as the Treasurer or Fundraising Coordinator to establish and lead a Fundraising Committee. The members of the Fundraising Committee should be focused on fundraising activities, not planning activism events. However, all general members should assist with the fundraising efforts as decided upon by the Fundraising Committee. Fundraising is a group effort!
STEP TWO: Budget
Before you fundraise, determine how much it will cost the group to fulfill its mission on campus. Construct a budget. Use your group calendar or Plan Your Year Guide (that should list the events planned for the year) to develop your budget. Create an itemized budget for each event, and use those totals to create your total annual budget. Anticipate unexpected and additional costs. More than likely you will forget to budget for some aspect of the event, so make the budget as detailed as possible. Your annual budget should also be inflated with the anticipation that unforeseen events will come up during the year. Throughout the year, refer to your budget before and after each event. After the event, fill in the actual costs. If there were additional purchases not included in the original budget, add them to the document for reference next year.
STEP THREE: Create a Donor List
Create an Excel spreadsheet to record all contact information for potential and actual donors.
- Write out the names of your friends, family, church members and neighbors. Then add the names of pro-lifers in your community. Have each group member do the same.
- In addition to basic contact information, include notes about their personal life, such as children’s names, personal hobbies, occupation, etc. This information will help you establish rapport with donors.
- List conservative and pro-life alumni from the university and your group.
- As your group members graduate, make sure to transfer their contact information into your donor database. Alumni will have a vested interest in seeing your group thrive.
- List conservative and religious organizations in your area. Approach these organizations about mailing a letter on your group’s behalf using their mailing list.
- Consider approaching those who have recently donated to conservative political campaigns in your area.
- Visit your local Board of Elections office and ask for the campaign finance report for a conservative local council member or state representative. Ask for the reports for the year leading up to their previous election. These reports are open to the public. You will have to pay a small fee for copies. Most likely the people who donated to their campaigns will have similar values and will be willing to donate to you. Begin forming relationships with these potential donors by attending your local conservative meetings and events.
STEP FOUR: Write a Fundraising Proposal
When you meet with a donor you will want to be prepared. A fundraising Proposal is the perfect way to do that! If you are meeting in person your Fundraising Proposal should be nicely typed and presented in a clean folder with your group’s name, logo, and contact information.
“The mission of Northwest Students for Life is to establish an active pro-life culture among the youth of our community by educating our peers on life and by actively promoting the right to life for all persons (pre-born and born).”
At pro-life lobby days, marches, and community events, seeing students is no longer a novelty. Today, it’s the norm. Young people, now more than ever, consider themselves pro-life.
Northwest Students for life is playing a pivotal role in this revival and expansion of the pro-life movement at our school, growing from a group which started with 3 dedicated members to 15 active and passionate students. We know that the majority of abortions are committed on high school and college-aged women and that Planned Parenthood targets our generation. We are the voices of the Pro-Life Generation to our peers and our friends.
However, as our group has grown, our needs for funding to host successful events and train our group members has also increased. We need your help to send our club members to the National National Pro-Life March and the National Pro-Life Summit in D.C. this January.
Currently, Northwest Students for Life is hosting a bake sale and a car wash to raise money for our members to head to D.C. However, we only have the funding to cover 2 of our 15 members’ trips. We want all of our members to be equipped and trained for the upcoming school year. Would you consider becoming a group Rock Star, Hero, Benefactor, or Supporter?
$5,000 Group Rock Star
Sponsor 15 students to attend the National National Pro-Life March and National Pro-Life Summit.
$1000 Group Hero
Sponsor flights for 3 students to attend the National National Pro-Life March and National Pro-Life Summit.
$100 Group Benefactor
Sponsor 2 students’ food while attending the National National Pro-Life March and National Pro-Life Summit.
$50 Group Supporter
Sponsor 1 student Registration Fee to the National Pro-Life Summit.
Join us and invest in Northwest Students for Life. Help us get to D.C. for the training we need to empower and equip our members. We are changing the conversation about abortion at our school! Contact us at northwestSFL@gmail.com.
Other Items to Bring for Potential Donors
- Reports on past successful events.
- Emails, quotes, and campus newspaper articles about your group (positive and negative responses may appeal to your donor).
- Activism Calendar for the rest of the school year with the description of planned events.
- Stories of babies saved or minds changed.
Helpful Fundraising Tips
- Listen intently to the donor.
- Ask them for input on your proposal and what they would like to see your group accomplish.
- Make them feel invested before you make “the ask.”
- After you make “the ask”, do not speak. No matter how awkward, wait for them to respond first!
Now you are ready to start meeting with donors! Let’s get started!
Direct Solicitation and Church Solicitation
Pinpoint donors for in-person meetings. Using your Donor List, determine the donors from which you would likely reap a high pledge by an in-person meeting. Send the donors an introductory letter about your group. A few days later, call them and schedule a meeting. When they ask why you would like to meet, tell them that you would like to ask for their advice and discuss working together in the future. Securing the meetings is the hardest part.
MEETING WITH DONORS:
- Prepare for the in-person meeting by researching your donor and memorizing details that may come in handy when building a relationship with them. Carefully assess which group members would be best suited to attend the meeting. If a group member has a personal relationship with the donor or similar interests, bring him/her along. For example, if you know the donor is an avid golfer, bring a fellow golfing guru. The stronger connection and more rapport you can build with your potential donor, the more likely he or she is to donate to your group.
- Tackle the in-person meeting by bringing your Fundraising Proposal, dressing professionally, and arriving five to ten minutes early. Bring no more than three people to your meeting. If possible, bring a male and female group member to the meeting. Throughout the meeting, express how highly you value the donor’s opinion and involvement with your group.
- Accept money, goods, and services. If the donor owns a restaurant, ask him/her to donate food for a big event or a percentage of sales one evening. Ask a doctor for medical supplies to use as props for activism events (doctor’s masks, scrubs, instruments) or ask for a donation of time as a guest speaker at a group meeting or event. Additionally, a physician can also be an invaluable resource for advising your group on medical topics.
- Contact local churches and ask if you can collect money after each service for a week or two. Or see if they would take up a special offering for your group. Whenever people donate, collect their contact information so you can thank them and update them on upcoming events. Ask churches for goods and services, as well. They may provide helpful items such as candles (for a vigil) or crosses (for a Cemetery of Innocents display). Send letters to your home church asking if they would donate and/or post a blurb about your group in the bulletin asking for donations.
Sending out a letter (snail mail or email) asking for group funding can also be an effective fundraising strategy. Below is a sample “Ask Letter.”
We need your help.
So far, this year our Students for Life Group held a successful diaper drive donating 2,000 diapers, hosted 3 tabling events highlighting fetal development, adoption and Planned Parenthood’s lies, volunteered 15 hours at the pregnancy center, and reached hundreds of students with the message of life on our campus. We are dialoguing with our friends and peers about one the hardest issues there is — abortion. We want to save women on our campus from making a mistake that will haunt them their entire lives.
Just a few months ago, most people told our group that it was crazy to expect students at The University of Somewhere to stand up for Life, risking criticism from their professors and peers. But now, we have a club of 15 dedicated members that are willing to give time an energy to abolish abortion. We are proving that we are the Pro-Life Generation.
And now more than ever, it’s imperative for us to get our message out on campus. With only 4 more weeks left in the winter semester, we are turning our eyes toward bringing in a speaker in the spring to impact our school even more. We want to bring a former abortionist now turned pro-life OB/GYN to expose the truth about abortion. We need to raise $1,500 to cover the costs of this event.
Can you send a rushed gift of $50 today? Your gift of $50 will enable us to raise the money we need to reserve a room on campus, pay for Dr. A and his travel fees and launch a massive advertising campaign for our event on campus. We only need 30 generous donors to support this event, to help us abolish abortion.
You are a vital part of our success on this campus. Thank you for supporting our mission to make abortion an unthinkable option for the women at our school. Please prayerfully consider joining us in our biggest event of the year. I can guarantee that we will be prepared for a successful spring semester!
Students for Life at Somewhere University
(email@example.com or 123-456-7890)
P.S… – Please chip in a gift of $50, or even just $10 today. We can’t do this without you!
Hold an Event
Events can raise a large amount of money for your group. The events below have been a huge success for many Students for Life groups. If you need more help with putting an event together, contact your Regional Coordinator.
This is good if you want to try to raise a little bit of money. 9 times out of 10 you can get the event to pay for itself and have a little more left over. It works even better if you can get a venue, such as a home, rooftop deck, back room of a restaurant, and/or food and drink donated. These types of events work best if you have some kind of headliner or keynote speaker (which could be a politician, local celebrity, pro-life celebrity, etc.)
Banquet or Gala
This is good if you want to try and raise a nice chunk of money. This involves a lot of work as most of the money would come from table sponsors and sit down dinners are pretty expensive. If you are thinking about doing this you should first make a list to see if you could get several of the tables sponsored. If you can’t, then this is probably not the right avenue for you. But if you still really want to you could always partner with another organization to make it happen.
This is a fun and easy way for your group to get funds. Have each person in the group bake something for the sale and then get members to take shifts selling the baked goods at your school. Everyone loves a little treat. This would also be a great way to get your church or parish to partner with you. Host a bake sale after church.
5k Walk or Run
This is a fun way to get lots of people involved in what you are doing. 5k walks/runs are very popular and hosting one for your group, maybe even at your school, is a great fundraising event for your group. If you had a cool t-shirt to sell, that would bring in extra money also. Another idea is to partner with a local PRC that is already hosting a walk or run, ask if it could be a partnership and you both take half the funds.
Don’t forget about school funding! A lot of groups get funding from the SGA, make sure your group isn’t missing out on money that other groups at your school are receiving.
If you are at a public high school your school may not have club funding, but it’s always good to ask. If you are at a private high school, college or university, the most important thing to remember in applying for funding from your Student Government Association (SGA) is to figure out the timeline for when all of your information is due. Often there are packets you can pick up or download online from the Activities Office or from SGA that can help you in this process. Most often your applications will be due at the very beginning of the semester, so make sure to come back from summer prepared and submit the application on time. Your SGA may only let you apply at two times during the year (in August or September and January).
The next important aspect to applying for funding is figuring out what should be included in your application. Make sure to submit a detailed plan on what you intend to do for the semester as well as your projected budget. It will help the SGA figure out who should get more funding or not by looking at different events you will be hosting and how much you will be spending throughout the semester. This means that you will need to prepare before you meet with the person who will be in charge of the club budgets for the year.
One other aspect you need to consider is asking how much the pro-abortion/Vox groups are getting on campus. If you go to a state college or university, by law you have to receive the same amount of funding as these groups. If there is a discrepancy, and the SGA or Student Activities office refuse to remedy the situation, they might be liable and your group could win a lawsuit. If you go to a private college or university, it may be harder to find this information out. Just ask the SGA or Activities Director what kind of funding “similar” groups are receiving such as VOX/pro-abortion groups or other ministry or politically-based groups.
If you do not receive the exact amount of funding you request, don’t worry. There are always ways to find more funding for events throughout the year, such as asking other clubs to co-sponsor events with you or holding a fundraiser for your group on campus.
If you have questions or need help fundraising contact your SFLA Regional Coordinator at [yourstate]@studentsforlife.org.